Monday, May 27, 2013

S$&t my kids Church....

We've been neglecting church lately. Let's face it, taking two wild kids to church and making them be both quiet and still is the equivalent to yanking out three teeth, sans painkillers. It's miserable and exhausting and I honestly think in the time since I've had kids, I've only really heard one homily all the way through. Sometimes I ask myself, is it really worth it?

I mean, c'mon - Peanut is the girl who was kicked out of her own baptism. The priest actually shooed her away from the ceremony.  I don't take Bjorn to many library story times because the kid doesn't understand "sit still" and "inside voice".

My kids are crazy, and crazy and church don't mix.

But I've been missing it, and although our last experience was a total meltdown of epic proportions, we took a deep breath and faced it again.

All I can say is: It wasn't horrible.

They still climbed around more than I would have liked. Peanut made a few loud shrieks and Bjorn had to go to the bathroom, and started to throw a fit three different times.

It was still better than any other time. I'm hoping we can start going every weekend. It starts the whole week off right, and I really miss church. Practice makes perfect, right?!

What also helped was the absolute adorableness of their attitudes:

"Remember, Bjorn. This is Jesus' house, and we need to be respectful and quiet in Jesus' house. Ok?" said The Hubs as we are sitting in the pew.
"Ok, Daddy. But where is Jesus?"
"He's right there, Bjorn. On the cross." and he points to the front of the church, behind the altar.
"But, but, but, Daddy! But he's frozen!" says Bjorn.
"No, he's not frozen, Bjorn. It's a statue."
But Bjorn isn't buying it.
"You know why he's frozen, Daddy? I think Jack Frost did it!"

Twice the bells rang during the consecration, and Peanut shouted loudly after each time. "Mommy! Your phone!"

Peanut spent most of mass in my arms, pointing at the paintings and statues throughout the church.
"Who dat?"
"That's Jesus. And Mary." I replied.
"Who dat?"
"Those are angels."
"Who dat?"
This occupied her most of the time as we went through the stations of the cross numerous times.

Bjorn began flipping through the hymnal.
"Dad! Dad! This is Mikael Boedker! Number 89! Look, he's here in the book!" and pointed at the page number.
"And Shane Doan Number 19 is in here too! And Mike Smith Number 41!"
And we went through as much of the hockey roster as we knew, finding all the hockey players in the church hymnal. Kept my little hockey lover happy for at least 6.3 minutes.

Yesterday Peanut carried around with her a doll I had found for her to take to church. It's like a little flip book doll, with faces of Mary, Joseph, the Shepherd, Wise Man and Baby Jesus. She adores it and refused to put it down yesterday. Today, Bjorn began playing with it.
"Mom," he said,"I can't remember who this guy is. Who is this? The one with the crown?"
"That's a halo, I think, Bjorn. And that's the shepherd."
"Who is this one?"
"That's Joseph."
"Oh yeah, that's Jesus' Dad. And this is Mary. She is Jesus' Mom." He says, as he flips through the doll faces.
"But, Mom. Who is this?" he asks, pointing to the last face.
"That's Jesus, Bjorn. Baby Jesus." I answered.
"No! Mooooo-ooooom! Jesus isn't a BA-BEE! Jesus is a big boy! I saw him at church, when Jack Frost froze him!"

I think we will be heading to church more often.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Part Time of Both, Full Time of Everything

As a part time SAHM, and a part time working mom, I hear a lot of different opinions about my home/work situation. Strong opinions. Sometimes rude opinions. (When did people start pushing their own beliefs on others as truth?!) . So I feel the need to dispel a few myths about exactly what it is I do all day. 

 As a Stay At Home Mom (SAHM)
I eat bon bons all day.  
First of all, I don't really know what a bon bon is, but it sounds delicious. And chocolaty and gooey. I'm sure if I had them, I would love them. But I'm also equally sure that if I had something chocolaty and gooey in my house, my kids would be eating it, not me. When was the last time I actually got to eat my whole meal by myself? 4 years ago, the night before my son was born. So, rest assured that if there were any bon bons in the house, they would not be being eaten by me.
I watch soap operas all day.  
Soap operas are full of sex and intrigue, mysterious illness and kidnappers with guns. Interesting to a 30-something year old with no one but toddlers to talk to all day, but not exactly kid friendly.  None of these things are things I want my kids to emulate, nor even want them to know about. IF the TV is on during the day, you can guarantee it isn't even the news. It's Mickey Mouse Clubhouse or Word World.

My kids watch TV all day.
This one is my favorite. Because I really believe that parents lie about the amount of time their kid sits in front of the TV. I know that some days, my kids watch three or four shows (that's TWO HOURS!) of TV before I am done reading my blogs, folding the laundry and putting away the dishwasher and realize it's time for them to get up and do something. Other days, we don't even glance at the TV we are so busy. But what are my kids doing right now? Watching an episode of Team Umizoomi so I can finish writing this post. My kids watch TV, yes. They know their TV characters, yes. But not all day. Not most of the day. Not every day. But TV isn't the enemy, people. Know what is? Judging me. 

I do laundry and clean all day.  
This is partly true. I do do at least a load of laundry a day,and I do pick up. All day. Constantly. But I also read to my kids, and play with them. I am not in an apron, barefoot, waiting for my hard working husband to get home to his home cooked meal. I call him on the way home to ask if he can pick up a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store.
As a Working Mom:
Day care is raising my kids.  
This one angers me. Deeply. Would you be surprised that I hear this often? I asked a friend why she didn't want to return to work after her baby turned one, and she said "I don't want my kid to be raised by daycare." 
No one is raising my kids but me and my husband. Daycare watches, and teaches, my child during the day, yes. But they don't raise him. They don't teach him our family morals and values. They don't instill in him the ethics with which we want him to be raised. They don't feed him breakfast and dinner, tuck him in at night and read him stories. Daycare doesn't buy his clothes, or any of his toys. They have him for 8 hours a day while my husband and I work. 
He plays and he eats and he runs around and he makes friends and he learns. He isn't being raised. When your kids are in school, do you think it is going to be the teacher (that has him 8 hours a day) that raises him? No. It will be you, the parent, that raises him. The teacher just guides him and teaches him during the day.  NO ONE raises my child but me.
Mommy's stay home while Daddy's work
I'm not a feminist. I've never claimed to be. But, I do believe that I need to keep my job for a myriad of reasons. 
One, I like my job. I like to have some place that knows me as more than Mom. I like to have something that is my own.  
Two, my daughter needs to see that you don't have to quite your job just because you become a wife and Mommy. Daddies don't quit their jobs and drop everything to have a family, so why should Mommies? It may be a little bit harder, but I need to do this to show my daughter (regardless of what books may have come out recently by  business women) that she doesn't have to choose between having a family and having a career. Men aren't asked to choose. Neither should women. 
Three, I need my son to see the same thing. I need my son to know that women have worth in the workplace, just as much as men do. I need my son to appreciate that women are more than moms and wives, and that they too can have both a career and a family. Some day I hope his future wife thanks me. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The little things that count.....

I've said it before and I'll say it again.

It is the random firsts that you sometimes remember the most.

Like that one time the night time routine started out just like it did every night.

She gives kisses to doggie.
She gives kisses to Daddy.
To Bjorn.
And Mommy.

We have a family hug, and I reach down to grab her in my arms.

"Night night, Peanut. I love you."

And instead of blowing a kiss, as she has done on every other night, she says "Night night. I wuuuuuuvveee you."

Your heart beats a little faster.

"What did you say Peanut? Did I hear you right?! Say it again!"

Then she looks right at you, smiles sweetly and says, "I wuuuuuuuuvvee you Mommy."

And you feel so special and warm and gooey inside because it is the first time she said I love you and you know - KNOW - that you will never forget this day.

Until the next day you hear her.

"I wuuuuuuuuve you baby. I wuuuuuuuuve you book. I wuuuuuvvve you cereal. I wuuuuuuuuve you sock."

You have to laugh. Because while it means so much to you to hear it, for her it is one more way to express herself. And she really does love cereal.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Sugar, Spice and Puppy Dog Tails

When I had Bjorn, I knew there were many scraped knees and bruises in my future. He wasn't yet three weeks old when he first "climbed a tree", scratching his new little baby leg in the process. I was prepared for the band-aids and the boo-boos, the seemingly permanent bruises up and down his little toddler legs.

After all, the kid spends practically all day playing soccer and baseball and hockey. He is made of dirt and snails and puppy dog tails.

I figured with Peanut, though, I would have it easy until at least, oh, junior high. When suddenly the hormones start raging and I become the enemy.

She was supposed to be made of sugar and spice and everything nice.

So why is she the one I had to take to the dentist for a chipped tooth? A chipped tooth she gave herself from throwing a tantrum?!

Yes, that's right. Throwing a balls-out, no-holds-barred tantrum. All because I made her hold my hand when we walked across the street. How dare I?!

After screaming the whole way "Myself! NO! NO! MYSELF!" because (why else?!) she wanted to do it all by herself, I placed her on the sidewalk and crouched down next to her to calm her. My sweet, little Sugar & Spice daughter till screaming, she threw herself backwards, and I caught her easily. But she immediately switched tactics and threw herself forward.

Face first. Into the sidewalk. Look, Ma, no hands!

It could've been worse. Much, much worse. As it is, she has a chipped front tooth that has not given her any problems. Literally an hour later she was biting into a full apple, no pain.

For the next few years, we have to be on the lookout for discoloration or pain with that tooth.

For the next few years, I also have to be on the lookout for tantrums, sidewalks and anything else that may interfere with my strong-willed daughters sense of right. Sigh.